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  1. #1
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    China : Media outrage and mirth at soccer team's abject loss

    Media outrage and mirth at China soccer team's abject loss
    Keith Zhai
    Sunday, 23 June, 2013

    Humiliating 5-1 defeat by Thailand prompts harsh criticism from state media and inventive scorn from many commentators


    China's players leave the pitch after their friendly soccer match against Thailand in Hefei on June 15, 2013. Thailand won 5-1.
    Photo: Xinhua

    Even for a country that has become accustomed to its soccer team losing, the crushing 5-1 defeat of the Chinese men's national team by lowly Thailand last weekend was too much to bear.

    Thailand - ranked 47 places below China in the Fifa world rankings - hadn't even bothered to bring its best players to the friendly in Hefei , Anhui province. It filled seven roster spots with youth players, fielding a team with an average age of just 21.

    The inexperienced squad nonetheless dealt China its most lopsided loss against an Asian team and its worst-ever result at home. The uneven scoreline baffled even Thailand's coach, who later told China Central Television he didn't know how his team won the match.

    The state-run Xinhua News Agency proclaimed the match a "humiliation" and a "tragedy for Chinese football" on its official Sina Weibo account, even before the final whistle had blown.

    It then ran an editorial entitled, "Chinese football wasted another chance to turn a new page". "Poor possession, poor teamwork and, most of all, no fighting spirit resulted in the most humiliating defeat in years for China's national men's soccer team," it said.

    The agency said it was "not too much to use those bad words to describe the men's soccer team's performance, as the audience was shocked and understandably baffled".

    Xinhua's harsh critique was among the mildest as the usually uncritical mainland media used the national disgust with the soccer team's performance as an opportunity to show its creativity in expressing outrage.

    The Qianjiang Evening News summed up the loss with a single word: "Stink!" Another Zhejiang newspaper, the Today Morning Express, tried humour. "In soccer, you never know the result; but you always know what will happen in Chinese soccer," it said.

    The Nanning Evening News called on the rocket used to carry Chinese astronauts into space to remedy the situation. "Shenzhou-10, please take the Chinese soccer team away from the soccer pitch," the paper said.

    A lengthy headline in the Chongqing Economic Times said the national team's players were so fragile they would collapse if struck by spongy tofu. It suggested that they hit themselves with some and put themselves out of their misery.

    "Would you allow your children to play soccer any more?" the Chongqing Times lamented.

    The Beijing Evening News went straight at the players themselves, asking them: "Do you still have shame?" The Beijing Times even described the defeat as a "massacre", a provocative word to use just two weeks after the unspoken anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown.

    The media, of course, was merely channelling the national mood. Hordes of angry soccer fans took to the internet to express their loathing for country's team.

    One Weibo commenter even suggested the poor performance had brought shame upon President Xi Jinping , a big soccer fan who happened to be celebrating his 60th birthday on the day of the match.

    "Those players should get punished as they ruined the president's birthday party," the commenter said.

    Xi himself had earlier this month mentioned the national team's lacklustre record during his visit to soccer powerhouse Mexico. "The Chinese soccer team has always been doing their best, but has had only one chance to enter the World Cup competition," he said during a speech to the Mexican congress.

    But one popularly circulated Weibo post said the president probably now regretted being so charitable. "He might have changed his ideas and would say: 'The Chinese soccer team has always been playing their worst'," the commenter said.

    Under mounting pressure, sports authorities have begun negotiating the departure of the national team's Spanish manager, Jose Antonio Camacho, according to CCTV.

    scmp.com

  2. #2
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    Soccer fans despair as coach dumped
    Tang Zhe

    2013-06-23 In the aftermath of a humiliating loss to a young Thailand side, coach Jose Antonio Camacho's controversial relationship with the national soccer team finally came to an end with the Chinese Football Association deciding to terminate its contract with the Spaniard on Friday night.

    However, instead of Camacho being blamed for the poor result, Chinese netizens have accused the soccer body itself of being responsible for the national team's misfortunes.

    Jose Antonio Camacho, coach of Chinese soccer team.

    In a survey on Chinese website Sina.com, more than 70 percent of respondents suggested it was the CFA's incompetence that led to the national squads' current predicament. Some fans expressed sympathy for Camacho, pointing out there are many issues in Chinese soccer that the coach was unable to control.

    Camacho's dismissal is also being regarded as a hasty and unwise decision, which will ultimately have a negative impact on the national team.

    "Camacho left in a hurry, and his successor must come in a hurry, without any understanding, preparation or plan The qualifier of the Asian Cup and World Cup will soon be upon us and time waits for no man. The day will never be bright without doing things the right way," CCTV commentator He Wei wrote on Chinese micro-blogging site, weibo.

    With the sponsorship of Chinese company Dalian Wanda Group, the CFA replaced domestic coach Gao Hongbo and signed a three-year contract with Camacho in August, 2011.

    Instead of making improvements, however, the Spaniard's tenure was a series of disappointments. Shortly after his appointment in 2011, China suffered an early knockout from the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. The national team lost to Brazil 8-0 in a friendly in September, and saw its FIFA ranking slip to 109 - its all-time low - in March.

    According to a report on CCTV, the two sides are in talks about a pay out. It will likely cost the CFA more than 7 million euros ($9 million) for dumping Camacho and his coaching team 14 months before the expiry of their contract.

    Camacho's departure again pushes Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande's Italian coach Marcello Lippi to the forefront, who has not discounted the suggestion he could coach the national team in media interviews.

    usa.chinadaily.com.cn

  3. #3
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    They should hire Eduard Geyer or some other former Eastern Germany coach. Or actually any from the former soviet bloc who can get the commies doing what the mother country needs of them.

  4. #4
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    Why bother to call it a national team if it's coached by a foreigner? Man up and grow your own players and coaches.

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